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Short reviews of books on jihadism, the Lord's Supper, and Steve Martin.
2008This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action
George Weigel


I like writers I can argue with as I turn the pages, and the eminent Catholic thinker George Weigel—always clear and decisive in his judgments—fills the bill. Broadly sympathetic at the outset to his "call for action," I found myself frequently noting passages that seemed simplistic, inflated in their rhetoric. I ended with more understanding for critics of American policy with whom Weigel and I both disagree—not exactly the author's intention, but I thank him for it anyway.

Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper
John H. Armstrong, ed.


The format of this volume, framed by the editor's helpful introduction and conclusion, encourages give-and-take among the representatives of the four views: Russell D. Moore, Baptist ("Christ's Presence as Memorial"); I. John Hesselink, Reformed ("The Real Presence of Christ"); David P. Scaer, Lutheran ("Finding the Right Word"); and Thomas A. Baima, Catholic ("Christ's True, Real, and Substantial Presence"). I was raised with the Baptist view but have come to believe in Christ's Real Presence, a great mystery that should be at the heart of our worship, and I pray for a rediscovery of the Eucharist among evangelicals even as I respect the different views of my fellow believers.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Steve Martin


"In a sense," Martin writes, "this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know." A friend asked me if the book was funny. No, I said—though it's full of irony and wit as well as sadness and pain (especially Martin's lingering memory of his father's aloofness and "unprovoked hostility"), and the razor-sharp observation that ...
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